I have lived in one house in Baltimore for nearly forty-five years. It has changed in that time, as I have - but somehow it still remains the same. No conceivable decorator's masterpiece could give me the same ease. It is as much a part of me as my two hands. If I had to leave it I'd be as certainly crippled as if I lost a leg.
I am aware of existing in a nearly constant state of inner turmoil and argument. I become frustrated with my work when the solution to a creative impasse seems like a secret I don't want to tell myself. It's not that I lose faith in my work - I'm fairly certain the answers are there, but much of my energy is spent beating my psyche into revealing them.
John Gottman is our leading explorer of the inner world of relationships. In The Relationship Cure, he has found gold once again. This book shows how the simplest, nearly invisible gestures of care and attention hold the key to successful relationships with those we love and work with.
With a novel, which takes perhaps years to write, the author is not the same man he was at the end of the book as he was at the beginning. It is not only that his characters have developed-he has developed with them, and this nearly always gives a sense of roughness to the work: a novel can seldom have the sense of perfection which you find in Chekhov's story, The Lady with the Dog.
I have not spoken in three years: not since I left boot camp. It has been three years of a senseless war, and though the reasons for it are clear, and though we will continue to fight until we are ordered to stop--and probably for a while after that--none of us can remember the hate that led us here. We are simply fighting to survive the war. It is a strange place to be at fifteen, bereft of hope and very nearly of your humanity. But that is where I am nonetheless.